11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2016 4:38 AM by Lee Feinberg

    BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)

    Stanislava Tropcheva

      Hi TUG Leaders,


      Bulgaria Tableau User Group (BGTUG) is a new group here. (We had our first meeting on 18th Feb 2016)


      For our 2nd meeting in May I think to have a contest between Tableau Business Users and Students.

      • Tableau Business Users - people who use Tableau at work
      • Students - students from University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria. They follow TFT (Tableau for Teaching) program and learn how to use Tableau with exercises and team works.

               This year is the 3rd year students start to use Tableau in Business Intelligence course, so it would be nice if we let graduated students from the first 2 years to participate (only if they don’t use Tableau at work).

                (You can find out more here http://www.tableau.com/learn/webinars/how-university-national-and-world-economy-are-using-tableau-their-bi-course and here http://www.studybi.org)


      We have enthusiasts for both of them about the contest!

      However, I do hope that you can help me with finding the best way to execute all this!


      I will be glad if you can recommend me/tell me your opinion about:

      I) Choosing a winner - to vote (how?) or not


      1.1 Vote

      • Vizes to be uploaded to Tableau Public - that way the links could be shared/ tweeted and a lot of people could vote (we have groups in LinkedIn, fb and twitter)
      • Second option is only BGTUG members/ attendees on the 2nd meeting to vote (And we will have immediate results.)

      It is an option to publish the workbooks to some deadline (day before meeting #2). And then on meeting #2, attendees to vote after the short demos of workers/students.Some of BGTUG members answered to the question about choosing a winner that attendees must decide.

      1.2 Is it better to be more as challenge than competition?

      Users  will feel more comfortable when sharing and presenting w/o voting, but voting could promote more participation.


      II) Rounds - if you have organized viz competitions, what rounds did you have, if any?


      III) Data for the Viz contest will be all survey data (w/o any personal info) we have. I created 4 surveys (and will translate them in English maybe other TUG Leaders will find them useful):


      1. Who are you? - short survey on the meeting day - to collect information about the users - when did they start using Tableau, why, which products and so on.
      2. BGTUG_M1_Follow up - members assessment of the first meeting
      3. BGTUG_MembersOpinion - what we want and how to achieve it
      • Members - experience with Tableau (newbies, Intermediate, Advanced Level)
      • Date, Time, Place, Duration
      • Content
      • Speakers, Volunteers and Leaders
      • BGTUG MVP - Mission, Vision and Purposes
      • Suggestions and Ideas
      • BGTUG Meeting #2 (Date)
      1. Ask Students - to find out if there are enthusiasts for Tableau Business Users vs Students Viz Contest


      Please, share your opinion and ideas about Tableau Business Users vs Students Contest!


      Thank you,


        • 1. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
          Michael Perillo



          Congratulations on holding your first meeting! 


          Here's my thoughts on the Viz Content / Viz Challenge:

          • A contest is designed to select a winner as part of a competition
          • A challenge can encourage competition but can have an all around positive outcome (i.e. no losers)


          If you're set on running a contest you'll need to be clear about the criteria that will be used to select a winner.

          • Tableau's IronViz Contest is a good example of how something might be structured.
          • What is the point criteria?  How will submissions be judged?
          • Who will judge and ensure fairness?  (This should be someone that understands best use of telling stories, using chart types that are intuitive, design that invokes emotion, data accuracy)
          • And lastly, did your winner clearly meet the criteria that you outlined.


          If you're set on running a challenge you're able to include more people as individuals or teams to participate.

          • The selection of most compelling story, viz, design, etc can be shared across submissions.
          • This process should encourage seasoned Tableau users to engage with new or novice users, but engage thoughts, discussions.


          I've attempted one (1) contest and thereafter held several challenges.  Contests usually drive novice users out to lean more on seasoned users.  I had more participation, collaboration and enjoyment when there was no winning/losing associated with the activity.  My goal for holding challenges is to encourage learning, sharing and innovation using Tableau. 


          Hope this was somewhat helpful.



          Michael Perillo

          Phoenix Tableau User Group

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          • 2. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
            Stanislava Tropcheva



            Thank you

            Your answer was very helpful!


            It will be a challenge! It is better to be a challenge also because most of our members are newbies/ intermediate users.

            Later on we can try with a contest.




            • 3. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
              Andy Piper



              In fact, we'll be hosting a viz building competition later this month. We've held about 6-7 of these types of contests/challenges and have learned a few things that tend to work well for us:

              • State clearly what the rules and judging criteria will be
              • Provide a clean (or easy-to-clean) data set -- no one wants to clean data for 20-30 minutes before they can even look at creating something with it
              • Have at least one or two judges who are familiar with the data and/or can be seen as experts within the space the data represents
              • Create groups of 5-8 attendees such that each group has a mixture of experience levels
                • This provides balance between each group (no one group is heavy on novice or on advanced users)
                • New folks benefit greatly
                  • Knowledge transfer
                    • Attendees get a sense of how to look at and manipulate data to place into Tableau
                    • Attendees see first hand how to add functionality such as dashboard actions, hover help, and a variety of viz objects they may not have been familiar with
                  • It provides confidence as they see how, in about an hour, they can transform a data set into an interactive and useful dashboard
                • The more advanced users benefit too
                  • They may learn new approaches and what to do with data (especially if the data is from a space they are not familiar with),
                  • They learn the joy of teaching and passing along the torch of knowledge to others
              • Above all, create an atmosphere where attendees are willing to share, collaborate, and have fun doing so
                • Have your jedis go throughout the room assisting groups
                • Perhaps have an out-going, fun-loving people-person and Tableau cheerleader be your MC


              Good luck with your viz contest/challenge. All the best with BGTUG.


              If there is anything I, or other TUG enthusiasts can do to help out with your TUG efforts, just let us know -- we are all too happy to assist.



              Andy Piper

              Atlanta Tableau User Group (ATUG)

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              • 4. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
                Anthony Gould

                Hi Stanislava


                I'd also like to say congrats on your newly established user group!  It sounds like you've managed to generate enthusiasm in your community from the beginning.  Great work.


                I would echo Andy and Michael's advice.  The Seattle Tableau User Group held one viz contest in 2014, and really enjoyed the War of the TUG's viz competition last year.  Our first viz contest opposed small groups of attendees with a focus on more experienced members being matched with newer users (for all the reasons Andy mentions).  We had great energy in the room during the competition, but there was hesitancy in presenting their final viz submissions.  I mostly attribute this to the fact SeaTUG hadn't established a regular cadence of collaboration events at that point.  Frequency of collaboration events has been a priority since then.  By the time we held the War of the TUG's, our community knew each other much better and the competition was with other user groups.  In the room, we focused on organizing the development across 40 contributing members, which is no small feat.


                I share these two stories as another data point for your consideration.  You've received outstanding advice from Michael and Andy already.  I suggest using what you know about the culture of your community to choose the type of event to hold.  Regardless, make it fun, and continue the strong engagement from your first meeting!


                Anthony Gould

                Seattle Tableau User Group

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
                  Stanislava Tropcheva

                  Thank you all for your help and the information that you shared!


                  I thought that it is good to provide the data earlier - this month after the cleansing. (and the attendees will have time till May to play with the data).


                  1. This will be a way for all of us to know more about each other and the BGTUG members in general - experience with Tableau, Industry, Interests and so on (all information available from the surveys, excluding sensitive information like email, name, company).

                  2. Members will have time to explore the data, analyze it and probably try to create vizes before the meeting.


                  For sure, it is a very good idea to work in groups for an hour on the meeting day. (We voted that our meetings will take place for 2 hours.)

                  I told them already that in this challenge everyone will be a winner


                  Also, we voted that it is possible to speak in English on our meetings and to provide access to people who want to join us online (maybe via webEx).

                  The reason is to invite other TUG members if they want to attend and to be flexible if any of the BGTUG members prefer to watch online the meetings.

                  At the end of the challenge, it would be possible to vote for Business Users or Students' solution (on-side and online).


                  Thank you,


                  • 6. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)

                    Hi Stanislava, In London we have had one full on competition, where upon arrival people sat on tables and joined groups, with a mix of people they knew and people they didn't.  A data set was demo'd on the screen and then made available via the cloud (This was hosted at Google so we used Big Query).  The tables then had 30 minutes to build a viz using the data and also any external data they had.  At the end, there was 5 minutes to present back, with winners announced who all received a Google chromecast. Problems which we had to overcome included ensuring that there was at least one Laptop with Tableau on the table, and also the version they were using.  Some people did not interact well, others took over tables so how to overcome this. We are looking at a similar event going forwards, but it is a lot of work. A simpler option which has also been done, is a speed challenge.  We have done this internally to great success.  Have a data set, usually Superstore and produce a simple dashboard.  Then get people to build that as quickly as possible.  This helps learn techniques for efficiently dragging pills / using shortcuts and also allows people to practice ahead of time.  We used a metallic Top Gear type board to show the times and then had a three way battle to decide the winner.

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                    • 7. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
                      Anthony Gould

                      Hi Stanislava


                      A quick note in response to your latest post.  It sounds like you have a really good handle on the upcoming event and I'm sure it will be an outstanding experience for your user community.  I wanted to pass along SeaTUG's take on an online/webex option.  Of most priority to our leads group is to focus on creating an amazing experience for those that attend in the room.  We focus greatly on the positive energy of the environment.  Second, we believe building community across a wide swath of your local businesses happens best if people are in the room engaging face-to-face.  I could go on, but I'll keep it brief and just point you to your favorite communities you've ever been a part of (sports, school, etc.).  Most likely these were an in person experience.  Third, ensuring the online experience is positive can take quite a bit of effort.  Even if you have dedicated leaders to help with the WebEx, you'll need to think about running microphones around to anyone that is speaking and making sure the presenter is always sharing online.  This can really detract from the "flow" where creativity and community can stem. 


                      I receive this question often from SeaTUG and continually revert back to the priorities I've listed.  I'm interested to hear from other TUG leaders on this subject.  The common answer of "it depends", may come into play depending on the type of event you are hosting (collaboration vs. content delivery).  I believe Andy Piper offers online options for his group so you may receive an opposing, but valuable, take from him. 


                      Best of luck in your upcoming event!



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                      • 8. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
                        Ryan Sleeper

                        Hi Stanislava,


                        Based on the responses here, it looks like you have enough to make a great event, but for what it's worth... I'll mention my experience with the two contests the Kansas City group has participated in:


                        2014 - Internal Contest



                        • We conducted our first contest during the same meeting where Dan Murray, author of Tableau Your Data!, guest presented. This provided a great judge and incentive (free copies of his book) for participating.
                        • We let our attendees know that they could use any data they wanted if they wanted to get a headstart, but also provided standard data sets the night of the event.
                        • Users got one hour to create views during the meeting, followed by presentations.


                        What I learned

                        • An hour is not long enough for the majority of users to create something they are comfortable sharing in front of a large group. I would encourage the majority of the work be completed before the meeting, with the meeting being used for a small amount of group work to finalize the views, followed by the presentations which can provide valuable knowledge transfer.


                        2015 - War of TUGs



                        • This was a contest held between user groups last year.
                        • Each group was given access to the data the morning of their respective meetings.
                        • This was an inter-group contest.


                        What I learned

                        • The inter-group component helped with participation because we all felt like we were on the same team. We broke into small groups during the meeting, but the final product was a combination of the best ideas from every group.
                        • The data needs to be prepared and provided to participants in advance of the contest / challenge. The event should be a data visualization event; not a database engineering / data wrangling event.


                        I hope this helps; thank you for your efforts in Bulgaria,

                        - Ryan

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                        • 9. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
                          Stanislava Tropcheva

                          Hi Anthony,


                          I absolutely agree with you. Face-to-face meetings are the best we can do.

                          WebeEx option will be in case we have something really interesting to share with others (probably not the entire meeting) or to "meet" online between TUG meetings.

                          And, off course if we are able to prepare it (microphones. streaming...).


                          Thank you,


                          • 10. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)

                            Great thoughts everyone.  We are holding our first TUG Viz contest in Boston next month.  We are planning on having entrants complete their dashboards before the meeting (based on a defined dataset and business problem), and a panel will select 4-5 entries.  Those 4-5 will be notified ahead of time and will present their designs during the meeting.  The audience will then vote on a winner.


                            How does that format sound to you experienced Viz contest TUGgers?



                            • 11. Re: BGTUG: Viz Contetst between Tableau Business Users and Students (TUG Leaders Suggestions)
                              Lee Feinberg

                              I like the approach.  We've done contests, but during the meeting and had amazing results with under an hour to create the viz.  We send the data beforehand -- mainly so folks can have it on their computer.  A few competitive folks do come to the meeting with a work-in-progress .   I like what Ryan posted about having work done before and then combining forces at the meeting.


                              I design our meetings to have a high level of interaction and would want to make sure yours doesn't become "show and tell."  Maybe you could give attendees a list of possible questions to ask during the presentations.  Please let us know how it goes and what you learn.  Excelsior!